Friday, 3 August 2012


MORE on Keith Vaughan (PeA 21-29) in his centenary year: an absorbing one man show about him, Locked In, is being staged this month at Surgeon's Hall in Edinburgh, with the tagline "He broke his own heart. Now he will break yours." (Press release here.)

Friday, 20 July 2012

Sonic revelation

FROM the Rotunda of Dublin's City Hall, Mark Duley (Staff 89-91) talks about Venice and sets the scene for a celebration of the music of Giovanni Gabrieli (5 mins):

Thursday, 19 July 2012


SHE's the one who's often overlooked when the conversation turns to notable ex-pupils of CH Hertford: Margaret Gowing (Elliott, 4's 32-38), historian of British atomic energy and Oxford's first-ever Professor of the History of Science. For the full story see her Independent obituary (1992) and Wikipedia entry. (Her husband was also an Old Blue, Donald Gowing (LaA 32-39), Secretary to the Musicians' Benevolent Fund).

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Quite gloriously pointless

AN authentic recording (lasting 22 seconds) of James Coomarasamy (MdA 78-85) running with Olympic athletes in Kenya last month:

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Taio: the verdict

HERE at Houseyblog we've poured literally millions of pounds into our in-depth, no-holds-barred investigation of whether the pop star Taio Cruz is, or is not, an Old Blue.

The result? Bewilderment (see sidebar for details).

But the writing was on the wall when an article in the last Blue surveyed Old Blues in the musical world, ranging from Frankmusik to Attila the Stockbroker, and didn't say a word about Mr Cruz.

And in the wake of that, a well-established member of the CH staff who wishes to remain anonymous but has given me permission to quote him has stated bluntly in writing:
He is not an old Blue. A member of my family works with him and can verify that!
Gentlemen, roll up that map, don your black armbands and turn down the gas in the hall. The dream is over.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Crash bang wallop

A SHOWREEL for sought-after drummer, percussionist and programmer Accy Yeats (MdA 79-86) (10 mins):

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Master of the universe?

WE seem to have been sleeping on the job while major honours were showered upon Simon White (PeB 62-68) of the Max Planck Institute. In 2008 he won the European Latsis Prize for his outstanding contribution to the field of astrophysics. This was followed in 2010 by the Born Medal for his contributions to cosmology, galaxy development and the theory of Lambda Cold Dark Matter. Then last year he and three colleagues (known collectively as the Gang of Four) shared the Gruber Cosmology Prize for their pioneering use of numerical simulations to model and interpret the large-scale distribution of matter in the Universe. Awestruck congratulations to him, however late in the day; is he, perhaps, a future Nobel Laureate?

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Breast cancer and after

SINGER and actress Olivia Newton-John, daughter of Brinley Newton-John (Horsham Staff c. 36-38) is quizzed about her health by York Membery (LaB 73-80).

Friday, 13 July 2012

Brace yourselves

THERE are worse times just around the corner, warns Dan Atkinson (LaA 72-79).

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Funny, I think I've seen her on the telly

A PROMOTIONAL video for Bancroft's School, with a thirty-second cameo by its head, Mary Ireland (Deputy Head 00-07) (3½ mins):

Mary came to a wider audience via the CH-set reality show Rock School in 2005. Bancroft's is where Dr Peter Southern (Headmaster 96-07) was head before moving to CH.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Our other Keith

2012 is the centenary year of the painter and diarist Keith Vaughan (PeA 21-29), the most renowned visual artist yet produced by CH.

Frustratingly, this blog has come back to life too late to bang the drum for the two main exhibitions marking the centenary, both of which have already closed. Keith Vaughan: Romanticism to Abstraction was staged at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, and reviewed at length in the Independent on Sunday, the Financial Times, the The Independent, the Spectator, the Observer and the Daily Telegraph. Overlapping with it, Agnew's Gallery in London mounted a commercial exhibition of fifty of Vaughan's works, thirty-five of which are shown here.

There have also been commemorative lectures at the Olympia International Fine Art and Antiques Fair and the Royal Watercolour Society, and two new books about the man have appeared, Keith Vaughan by Philip Vann & Gerard Hastings and Drawing to a Close: The Final Journals of Keith Vaughan by Gerald Hastings. Joining them in September should be Keith Vaughan: The Mature Oils 1946-1977 by Anthony Hepworth & Ian Massey. Also of interest is the catalogue (again by Gerard Hastings) from last autumn's exhibition of Keith Vaughan's Gouaches, Drawings & Prints at Osborne Samuel, which can be pored over page-by-page here.

And there's at least one more exhibition to come, albeit seemingly a small one: at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, from September through December.

At the last count CH owned four works by Vaughan: three of the four large panels he painted for the school as a young man, and an extra picture acquired decades later as a memorial to reputedly the finest CH teacher of the last century, the Hon David Roberts (Horsham Staff 36-55). If the school or foundation still possesses these paintings it would be interesting to know if they have been lent out for exhibition this year, or otherwise put on show to acknowledge the centenary of this distinguished but (not least in the CH context) much neglected Old Blue.

(The title of this post alludes to the war poet Keith Douglas (LaA, MidB 31-38) whose fame has outstripped Vaughan's in recent decades.)

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

A fellow of the right kidney

JOHN FEEHALLY (MaA, PeA 62-69) is President of the International Society of Nephrology. Here he highlights the challenges ahead, and this was his message on World Kidney Day in March.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Sorry, Johann

"DEAR Sir, As a world-famous eighteenth-century composer I find it extremely galling when Ilin-Dime Dimovski (MaA, GrE 00-01) grabs hold of the prelude from my Cello Suite No 1 in G Major, transposes it into A Major and bashes it out on his double bass without so much as a by-your-leave. I hope that as a responsible webmaster you will take all possible steps to ensure that no such video is embedded on your website. Yours faithfully, Johann Sebastian Bach (Mrs)." Er, yes, well… (3 mins):

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Art of degustation

DESIGNER Kacper Hamilton (MaA, GrE 98-05) takes whisky drinking to a whole new level.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Uphill task

NEW boss David Green (ThB 64-71) wants to rebuild the reputation of the Serious Fraud Office.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Many-hued fingers

FANCY an orchard? A bespoke garden feature? A designer allotment? Then it's time to call in Willow & Wren of Cambridge. Unleash the power that is Alice Willitts (Peasnall, Hertford & LHB 83-90)!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Food, medicine, hope

AN endearing introduction to the work of Msizi Africa, the children's charity founded in 2007 by Lucy Caslon (ColA 92-99), who takes part in the video (2½ mins):

Watch the full ten-minute version here

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Four-term head

AFTER twenty years as a headmaster, first at Bury Grammar and then at King Edward's, Witley, John Hansford (ColB 31-40, Governor) retired in 1980. But five years later, with CH suddenly in crisis, he gallantly came out of retirement to be head of his old school, at the very moment the girls moved from Hertford to Horsham. He died in April aged 90, and this is his Times obituary (republished outside the paywall). The accompanying photo seems to me misleading; Elizabeth Wood's portrait captures his benignity better.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Blood and thunder

PUBLISHED in May, here's the second Vespasian novel by Robert Fabbri (MdB, PeA 72-79).